Vincent Calabrese, "Transworld"

Vincent Calabrese is a self-taught watchmaker and one of the founders of the Horological Academy of Independent Creators (AHCI). While he is probably best known as the creator of Corum's "Golden Bridge" watch

and for his role in designing Blancpain's flying tourbillon

his current catalog includes a bewildering variety of watches incorporating unusual complications and idiosyncratic designs. Aesthetically and horologically Calabrese has blazed his own trail, and his creations often look nothing like conventional watches, including the breathtaking "Spatiales"

The balance of his catalog is a truly remarkable variety of complications, all based upon ETA's high-quality but entirely familar 2892 automatic movement. With Calabrese, time is generally displayed in a highly unconventional manner, often dispensing with dials and/or hands altogether. Here are his "Ludiques" watches:

and his "Techniques" watches:

Not surprisingly, Mr. Calabrese is an original thinker, and his philosophy and thoughts on watchmaking are strong and well-formed. He shares them in these two interviews at the Purists site: the interview with Vincent Calabrese and also his thoughts on movement finishing.

The current watch is his Transworld model. It is dress-size (35mm diameter and 9.5mm thick), and of the traveller or 2-time-zone type. "Home time" is displayed by the dials at 10 o'clock (24-hour style) and at 2 o'clock (minutes), and the date at top. The large hands would display local time, and power reserve is shown at the bottom. The setting mechainsm is most interesting; the crown has 2 detents, and pulling it all the way outward sets all 5 indicators in motion (2 hour-hands, 2 minute-hands, and the date wheel). Positioning the crown at the intermediary detent will quick-set the date by turning counterclockwise, and set just the 2 large hands by turning clockwise. By this arrangement one can simply reset the large hands when traveling with no concern whatsoever that the "home time" display will suffer, and it also accomodates the possibiltiy of uneven time zones since the two displays need not be synchronized on the hour! (All the above images are from Vincent Calabrese's website and other commercial sources)

Click the pictures for even larger!

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I hope you enjoyed this!

July 16, 2004

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